Korg DW-8000

Korg DW-8000 Image


Take Korg's first digitally controlled analog synth hybrid (DW-6000) two steps higher and you get the more popular DW-8000. Sound is digitally generated from the DWGS (Digital Waveform Generator System) and has been doubled from 8 sampled digital waveforms to 16 simple analog to complex digital waveforms. The DW-8000 has 8 voice polyphony in two modes, or one monophonic mode with all eight voices stacked. The analog VCF resonant filter and VCA both have independent ADBSSR envelopes. Parameters can be altered in real time via a single programmable slider. There are 64 presets that can be reprogrammed by the user.

Korg EX-8000 Image


In comparison to the DW-6000, the DW-8000 expanded to 8 notes polyphony, 16 sampled waveforms, a velocity sensitive keyboard with programmable aftertouch, auto-bend, a simple arpeggiator and a digital delay unit. The Digital Delay was an astonishing goody for the time, offering up to 512ms delay, phasing, flanging, chorusing and other time effects. Both the Arpeggiator, Auto-Bend and Digital Delay make this synth an inspiring and great sounding machine to use for great 303 basslines, techno and house bass and synth sounds and more! The EX-8000 (pictured above) is a rackmount version of the DW-8000. Several 3rd-party developers offered expansion boards for the DW-8000 providing up to 1024 presets, layered sounds, keyboard splits and Sample+Hold for the LFO. Though later overshadowed by the M1, the DW-8000 has been used by Divine Masquerade, Juno Reactor, Depeche Mode, Dream Theater, Joe Zawinul, and Keith Emerson.

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131 Visitor comments
November 21, 2009 @ 2:31 pm
Sorry, I was mistaken on the EX-8000. What I have was simply an addon with 4 banks of sounds, but would not play them as I recall. I am not sure what the name of it was though and it is inaccessible right now without some effort.
November 21, 2009 @ 2:21 pm
This seemed to do bass well. I never found a good piano sound on here, but, probably expected too much for a digital synth in this era.
November 21, 2009 @ 2:19 pm
This was my first synth. Oh, the memories. I later got the EX-8000 too. I still have both although they are retired. I still have the owner's manual and cassette (which I think came with the keyboard). Unfortunately, somehow I lost a bank of sounds on the Ex-8000 and it and another both have the original DW-8000 sounds. I wish I could get that bank restored. I don't recall the EX-8000 coming with a tape (I am pretty sure mine went with the DW-8000 and I never saw any other sounds on the tape or couldn't get it to work properly. It might be that I never found the right kind of cable, but it seems that I tried with one that the music store had used successfully.
Mammory Moog
November 20, 2009 @ 5:57 am
Agree with Dark Knight, absolutely mind blowing synth, the parameter resolution could be better over midi but hey dod the jupiter 8 have that ?
The sound is very very much like a jupiter 8, in fact more so than the MKS-80, and it probably is because of the discrete components on the voice boards, its a totally unique synth with absolutely mind melting sounds. And yes its is a best kept secret theres no doubt about it.
Love it love it love it, and with a midi controller love it some more !!!
The Dark Knight
November 11, 2009 @ 6:43 am
Dont know whether i should be saying this, but after owning two jupiter 8's ive found the EX-8000 does basses and pads as thick and the unison mode is frightening, i think some of this is due to the voice boards being a mixture between korgs own filter chips and discrete components unlike a CEM based synth of the era, and while JP-8s go for 4 and 5 grand these are going for a tenth of the price at present which is in my opinion ridiculous. The cat will soon be out of the bag on this synth and everyone will want it now that midi controllers are ten a penny, im sure about that. Its everyones best kept secret. Ok it doesnt do x-mod and PWM, but then again the JP-8 doesnt have 16 single cycle waveforms, a lovely digital delay, aftertouch or factory MIDI. I dont really miss the jupiter 8 with this around the place, but i would miss this baby.
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User Rating

Rated 4.52 (1414 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 DWGSs per voice; 16 sampled digital waveforms (including saw, sqr and sin)
  • LFO - YES
  • Filter - Analog Low-pass resonant filter with ADBSSR 6-parameter envelope generator
  • VCA - ADBSSR 6-parameter envelope generator
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (with velocity and aftertouch)
  • Arpeg/Seq - 64 note arpeggiator
  • Effects - Digital Delay
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1985-87

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